Angelica Hale wins first runner-up in ‘America’s Got Talent’

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Angelica Hale performs 'Symphony' during the finals of 'America's Got Talent'. (Photo by Trae Patton/NBC)

About six years ago, four-year-old Angelica Hale was fighting for her life after a bacterial infection in her lung severely damaged her kidneys. The Filipino-American girl based in Atlanta was put on life support and had to undergo a kidney transplant.

Not only did Angelica go on to survive the operation and eventually live a normal life, she was even able to pursue her dream of being a singer in an immensely popular talent competition series that, thanks to today’s technology, was witnessed by the rest of the world.

Following a series of roof-raising performances that took her all the way to the finals of “America’s Got Talent,” Angelica, now 10, was among the last two contestants standing. In the end, she finished first runner-up to singing child ventriloquist, Darci Lynne Farmer.

Darci has been heavily favored to win the contest and its US$1 million cash prize right from the start. Angelica, however, peaked at the right moment and prompted reality show odds makers to believe that she could pull off an upset.

Angelica Hale poses with her father backstage. Right, grand prize winner Darci Lynne Farmer performs with her two puppets. (Photos from Angelica’s Instagram page and by Trae Patton/NBC)

Indeed, Angelica’s performance of Clean Bandit’s “Symphony” during Finals night had all four judges swooning, with Heidi Klum declaring her as the best singer in the competition.

Darci’s two-puppet show that culminated in a duet of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” was tough to beat, though.

The 12-year-old ventriloquist pulled out all the stops and performed with puppets Oscar and Petunia in two different, distinct voices. A day before the final tally of the votes were announced, judges Mel B and Simon Cowell were convinced she could win it all.

But even though Angelica fell short of her goal, the little girl who could hit all those high notes now has a bright future ahead of her.

“Thank you so much to all of you who have supported me on my AGT journey! [O]ne thing is clear – This is only the beginning! I am literally the happiest girl in the World and nothing can take that away!,” she posted on Instagram following her Finals performance.